Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Letter from the Editor

Art+by+Blue+Linden
Art by Blue Linden

It is nearly impos­si­ble for me to sum up my time at Justice High School, nonethe­less, The Verdict, in one mere letter, as it cannot account for all the stress­ful after-school layout sessions and the cele­bra­tory issue publi­ca­tion parties. The Verdict created an envi­ron­ment in which I could develop not only my writ­ing skills, but also demon­strate lead­er­ship I had not real­ized was laying within me. I have been honored to serve as Editor-in-Chief.

When I entered Justice as a fresh­man, I had no idea there was a student news­pa­per, nor was it some­thing I was inter­ested in. It was not until my sopho­more year that I joined jour­nal­ism as a class to fill my course require­ments. With my sopho­more year being completely virtual and the publi­ca­tion online, I was given the time to develop my jour­nal­is­tic writ­ing skills. I found myself drawn to jour­nal­ism and to pursue an editor posi­tion the follow­ing year.

Return­ing to the class­room my junior year, I was able to completely immerse myself in events of the local commu­nity. I was presented the oppor­tu­nity to cover a vari­ety of topics, whether it be an outstand­ing athlete, or larger issues, such as the proposed plan to pave Justice Park. I feel incred­i­bly fortu­nate to be a part of a student news­pa­per that contin­ues to cover issues thought as contro­ver­sial rang­ing from the school expan­sion to crit­i­cal race theory, none of which would have been possi­ble with­out the endless support of our adviser, Ms. Machado. It was her first year in the class­room, just as it was mine, and she fervently expressed her excite­ment for what was to come. Ms. Machado’s guid­ance and wisdom have been instru­men­tal in shap­ing me as both a jour­nal­ist and a person. By follow­ing the exam­ple of my adviser and the editors above me, I gained a sense of what it truly meant to be a jour­nal­ist: to seek and share the truth, despite the diffi­culty of it.

The tran­si­tion of The Verdict from my junior to senior year brought a great chal­lenge in that we had an almost entirely new staff with just four return­ing editors. As I have now learned, senior year is possi­bly the most stress­ful time of high school, and while juggling the crazi­ness of the IB Diploma Program with college appli­ca­tions, jour­nal­ism initially seemed to be an addi­tional stres­sor. Yet I am more than pleased to say it was the complete oppo­site. Although the process to final­ize and publish the first issue came about at a slower rate, a vari­ety of staff writ­ers stepped up to take on greater respon­si­bil­i­ties. The primary obsta­cle was the launch of The Verdic­t’s brand new website while contin­u­ing with our printed publi­ca­tion. I would like to express my grat­i­tude to fresh­man Blue Linden who imme­di­ately took lead­er­ship in main­tain­ing the website, and sopho­more Maya Camp­bell, who consis­tently provided ideas for the phys­i­cal publi­ca­tions. My deep­est appre­ci­a­tion lies within my manag­ing editor, and part­ner in crime, Alessan­dra Simmons-Robles. Her dedi­ca­tion, hard work, and lead­er­ship have been indis­pens­able to the success of our publi­ca­tion. I am forever grate­ful for her friend­ship and cease­less support.

With this being the fourth and final issue of the year, I am consumed with happi­ness to see what The Verdict has accom­plished in these past eight months. I have complete confi­dence in the capa­bil­i­ties of the future editors, and I believe that student jour­nal­ism within Justice will continue to grow. Although I am leav­ing this chap­ter of my life behind, I will continue to vouch for the impor­tance of jour­nal­ism within a commu­nity and empha­size what former pres­i­dent Thomas Jeffer­son once said: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a govern­ment with­out news­pa­pers, or news­pa­pers with­out a govern­ment, I should not hesi­tate a moment to prefer the latter.”

One half of me did not want to begin writ­ing this letter, as I knew it meant my time here at The Verdict had come to a close. But the other half was more than happy to express the grat­i­tude I have for a program that has done so much for me. As grad­u­a­tion approaches, I am filled with a mix of emotions- excite­ment, antic­i­pa­tion, and natu­rally sadness. It is bitter­sweet to say good­bye to the place that has become home for the past four years, but I am look­ing forward to what is yet to come. I am grate­ful for the memo­ries, friend­ships, and lessons learned along the way. Here’s to the next chapter!

Sincerely,
Alex Budden­deck

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Buddendeck, Editor-in-chief
Alex Buddendeck has been a member of 'The Verdict' for three years, growing from Staff Writer to Editor-in-chief. Alex's favorite part about the newspaper is conducting interviews and designing the layout of each page. Outside of journalism, Alex plays soccer and loves to read. Her favorite book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, but is always looking for recommendations. She also loves music, especially Taylor Swift. Her favorite albums are Speak Now and Red (Taylor's Version).

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